It was with sadness we heard of Ron Doley’s passing in early April. He was a big man with a big spirit and had lived a life of significant influence. He knew so many people over his long, productive life and they all valued his friendship and help. Ron was a warm and generous person and what he seemed to want to do was to get people being happy and comfortable with the things he was passionate about. For us it was spinning and spinning wheels. His wheels were carefully and thoughtfully designed because he was an expert spinner. He knew what spinners needed. His wheels are well thought out from a functional point of view but they look nice too. He built over a thousand wheels and some of them are in the UK and Germany. He could also build carders and other equipment which accompanied spinning . All his designs suit what you are doing perfectly. One of the things he did for Marina in our club was repair her great grandmother’s spinning wheel. He also came and gave us carding lessons when he brought along the carder he had made for Marina. Nothing was ever too much trouble and his capacity to engage you in technique when it came to spinning came easily to him. He wanted others to get it right and feel that sense of freedom you have when you can spin well.
Several of our members have Ron Doley wheels. We are featuring Christine’s Ron Doley traveller (middle) and Jan 2’s Ron Doley wheel (left) and Joanne’s Ron Doley wheel (right) which he repaired for her last year.
He will be missed but like everything else he did in life , we have all inherited some soundly crafted influence from Ron Doley.
Jan joined our group last year and brings to it a lot of skill and experience. She is an alpaca breeder and so enjoys spinning her fleece . She has plenty of information and knowledge to share with us. We are a group which likes to spin alpaca fleece. Her wheel is a Ron Doley upright wheel. It is beautifully made and has been reliable. On Monday she was spinning some baby alpaca fleece from one of her male alpacas which had been shorn before it found its new home on New Year’s Day. Jan is very passionate about her farm and animals . One of her tips for spinning fleece is to mix it will wool for the sleeve and waist bands on jumpers so they don’t stretch.
Joanne arrived at the end of last year with a Ron Doley wheel which we got going during the session so she could see she had a good wheel which would work. Besides, there can never be enough yarn, so Joanne needed to start spinning right away. She took the wheel up to Ron Doley, of the Hills Spinners and Weavers Guild, and he repaired it all beautifully.
This man has built some of the best wheels in Australia because they are so well made and so functional. He cares very much about the quality of his wheels and helps people to keep his wheels in good condition. Joanne could come back to us this week with her beautifully restored wheel and actually get some good spinning done. She was making a lovely strawberries and cream yarn so we are looking forward to seeing what she does with it. If you belong to Facebook, Joanne has put more of the story about her wheel on our public Facebook Group page. You can see her first spun wool there and it looks good.
Marina is pretty happy. Legend , Ron Doley got her 130 year old great grand mother’s spinning wheel going and it is spinning like a dream. Ron Doley is 97 and still works with wheels , carders and wool and has a complete passion for, and dedication to, spinning. He is featured in Australian Spinning Wheels and is a respected member of the Adelaide Hills Spinners and Weavers. Marina had thought about getting her great grandmother’s wheel restored months ago and then was worried that someone would just think it would make good firewood. Ron used his skills and knowledge to restore it to working order and great grandmother is probably spinning around heaven in delight to see her wheel going again. Marina is certainly happy and we look forward to seeing what she has been able to spin on it. .
Made in America with Norwegian, German, and Irish DNA! I enjoy knitting, crochet, yarn dyeing, cross stitch, bullet journaling, books, baking, cooking, cats, dogs, dirt track racing, sprint cars, 101, NASCAR, MTJ19, and the color purple! I believe in animal and human rights especially those of unborn children!